Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Sunday in Lent: Temptation

Amanda is back for the first time in a year. Her presence has been missed. 

It’s the first Sunday in Lent. I ask how many had experiences with Lent growing up. Many with Roman Catholic backgrounds remembered giving something up for Lent. Hope remembers Bible study with her father. And I remember when I was a kid, most of my friends giving something up. Like meat. And I mention that the first part of carnival...carne...refers to meat, the last chance to revel in meat. How Presbyterians always looked on Lent with suspicion. When  Andrea innocently mentioned my giving up something for Lent, my family looked, well, aghast.  Anyways, my hometown of Pittsburgh was a great place to be in Lent...Fish fries every Friday at the Catholic churches.

Lent also has to do with slowing Spanish lentamente...slowly... and I think of David Michalek’s ultra slow motion video spaces are opened u to walk into and explore that you never you miss so if it’s a season to slow down, what will we see?

But the real issue before us today is temptation. Hope says it’s what take us away from what we’re supposed to be. John says indecision. Anna a divided mind. (Could say heart..) 

This section follows Jesus’ baptism where the Holy Spirit declares this is my son, my beloved.. Then follows the Lucan genealogy where Jesus is traced back to Adam, son of God, not David. It’s humanity that is emphasized here, not kingship. And then thay very same spirit leads him int the desert for a confrontation with the devil. Like it’s necessary. Like spring training. 

The key is that title...son of god... the same title used by the devil, who says all the kingdoms of the earth (ie, Roman Empire) with his three temptations, food (sustenance), non-exclusive worship (keep your own religion but worship Caesar) , and peace and security. This is what Caesar can do, can you?
It’s Jesus vs. the Empire...

(Zeljko tells us  they were celbrating the 1700th anniversary of the Chritianiztion of the Roman Empire (or the imperialization of Chirtiamity?) under Constantine in hs home town of Nis. Ul called ths 1700 years of the misuse of the cross. )

Bu there’s another way to look at it. Like each of these is the opportunity to take a short cut. And, like what you learn from community organizing, there are no shortcuts. Try to skip a step, especially in relationship all galls apart and takes longer to pull back together.

And for us, it’s the difficult task of discernment or temptation  over against call. Is what you’re drawn towards a call, a distraction, or a temptation...that’s what we look for in our slowed down time when we can look deeper...

That is the journey we are on for  this Lent...discerning our calls, both  as individuals and as a congregation...

just remember...the devil left...for an opportune time...

After services, session meets to review our ever shifting landscape...and Amanda is singing wth Cara....time for a lunch....then Teddy’s memorial service.

No comments:

Post a Comment